David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):51-75 (2012)
Externalism about mental content is now widely accepted. It is therefore surprising that there is no established definition of externalism. I believe that this is a symptom of an unrecognized fact: that the labels 'mental content externalism'-and its complement 'mental content internalism'-are profoundly ambiguous. Under each of these labels falls a hodgepodge of sometimes conflicting claims about the organism's contribution to thought contents, the nature of the self, relations between the individual and her community, and the epistemic availability of thoughts. This situation stems from the fact that contributors to debates about externalism differ in how they understand 'internal property'; these differences reveal (or, perhaps, generate) disparate conceptions of what is at issue in these debates. I argue that this situation is irremediable. There is no way to understand 'internal property' that will conform with prevailing beliefs about the nature of internalism and externalism, and with the usual taxonomy of leading positions. This ambiguity carries a heavy price: participants in these debates often argue at cross-purposes, disagreeing even on the nature of the evidence that could settle the question of externalism. Progress on the broad range of issues associated with these debates requires that we abandon the categories 'internalism' and 'externalism'. I close by suggesting a promising avenue for future research related to these issues.
|Keywords||mental content the self externalism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Tyler Burge (1986). Cartesian Error and the Objectivity of Perception. In Philip Pettit & John McDowell (eds.), Subject, Thought, And Context. Clarendon Press.
Tyler Burge (2003). Davidson and Forms of Anti-Individualism: Reply to Hahn. In Martin Hahn & B. Ramberg (eds.), Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge. Mit Press.
Tyler Burge (1979). Individualism and the Mental. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Tyler Burge (1986). Intellectual Norms and Foundations of Mind. Journal of Philosophy 83 (December):697-720.
Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers (1998). The Extended Mind. Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Joe Lau, Externalism About Mental Content. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Maciej Witek (2003). Wittgenstein and the Internalism-Externalism Dilemma. In W. Löffler & P. Weingartner (eds.), Knowledge and Belief. Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.
Alberto Voltolini (2005). On the Metaphysics of Internalism and Externalism. Disputatio 18 (2):1 - 24.
Katalin Farkas (2006). Semantic Internalism and Externalism. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
Ana Gavran (2004). Tim Crane on the Internalism-Externalism Debate. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (11):207-218.
Jonathan Ellis (2010). Phenomenal Character, Phenomenal Concepts, and Externalism. Philosophical Studies 147 (2):273 - 299.
Chris Tillman (2012). Reconciling Justificatory Internalism and Content Externalism. Synthese 187 (2):419-440.
B. J. C. Madison (2009). On the Compatibility of Epistemic Internalism and Content Externalism. Acta Analytica 24 (3):173-183.
Keith Butler (1997). Externalism, Internalism, and Knowledge of Content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):773-800.
Added to index2009-02-24
Total downloads255 ( #1,773 of 1,100,032 )
Recent downloads (6 months)43 ( #2,392 of 1,100,032 )
How can I increase my downloads?